Date of Conferral



Doctor of Nursing Practice (DNP)




Sue E. Bell


Obesity is an increasingly prevalent health issue, especially among children who live in high poverty, low income, and low education areas that lack needed resources and health care to promote quality of life. African American youth have a higher rate of obesity than other populations. The purpose of this project was to address an identified gap in practice by improving health care professionals' ability to provide culturally competent care to African American youth. An educational intervention framed by the Purnell model for cultural competence was developed to address the question, Will cultural competency staff education improve knowledge to prevent and manage childhood obesity among African American youth ages 2 to 19? Health care professionals (n = 10) in 5 community clinics completed the 17-item, 5-point Likert response Cultural Competence Assessment before and after an online education module. The higher the sum of the scores on the items, the higher the self-assessed cultural competence. Using Cohen's d statistic to calculate effect size, a small effect size was found on 1 item, a medium effect size was found on 1 item, and a large effect size was found on 15 items, indicating an increase in self-assessment of cultural competency after the education intervention. The findings demonstrate that education can increase health care professionals' knowledge about how to provide culturally competent management of African American childhood obesity. Practicing culturally competent preventive care in ethnic communities can reduce the gap in practice, which may bring about positive social change in society by decreasing chronic health care comorbidities and disparities in ethnic populations. The project may be of particular interest to nurse providers in primary care and community settings.